Sunday, August 16, 2009

Canada examines vitamin D for swine flu protection

Canada examines vitamin D for swine flu protection:

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has confirmed that it will be investigating the role of vitamin D in protection against swine flu, NutraIngredients-USA.com has learned.

The agency started a study last year on the role of vitamin D in severe seasonal influenza, which it said it will now adapt to the H1N1 swine flu virus.

Part of the researchers’ goal is to understand if vitamin D levels are in any way responsible for the fact that most people with seasonal influenza develop a mild illness but a small minority go on to develop severe symptoms.

According to PHAC, results from its study will indicate the extent and nature of the role of vitamin D in sever seasonal influenza. The agency said it would most likely take at least three influenza seasons to be able to recruit a sufficient sample size of individuals with severe disease and controls before the results can be “meaningfully” analyzed.

In addition, PHAC said that epidemiological evidence suggests a role for vitamin D in seasonal influenza in general.

“Influenza infection is correlated geographically and seasonally with levels of solar ultraviolet radiation (Cannell, 2006). Given that vitamin D is synthesisized in our skin on exposure to sunlight, low serum levels of 25(OH) vitamin D in winter months appear to correlate with the occurrence of seasonal influenza in the winter. However a direct causal relationship between low vitamin D levels and the risk of influenza remains to be proven.”

“How vitamin D might protect against influenza infection is not fully understood. However new research suggests that vitamin D induces the production of antimicrobial substances in the body that possess neutralizing activity against a variety of infectious agents including influenza virus (Doss, 2009).”

So, Vitamin D's attributes as the main substance to activate the body's immune system should make it protective against swine flu. Notice also that overweight people have had the highest death rates from swine flu, and also have lower Vit D levels. Low Vitamin D has been related to metabolic syndrome. This puts the lie to the whole "tanning beds are more dangerous than arsenic" garbage the WHO has been pushing lately. When fall comes, and I'm surrounded by sick teenagers, I'll be tanning without fear.

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